Pies stuffed with mincemeat are one of the must-have elements of an English Christmas. I personally had the opportunity to taste these pies in England several years ago during Christmas and I still remember their taste. These are shortcrust pastry pies filled with a mixture of dried fruit, sugar, butter, alcohol, fruit and spices. Before you start making the pies, you need to prepare the filling and that is what this recipe will focus on below.
Delving a little deeper into the history of mincemeat filling, it turns out that its composition has changed a lot over the years. The main ingredient that has been almost completely replaced from this English delicacy is the ingredient that gives the pies their name, i.e. mincemeat. You won’t find this ingredient in today’s pies, because most current recipes do not contain it and store-bought pies do not contain it either. The second ingredient that has also been replaced from today’s mincemeat filling is suet. As you can see, both of these ingredients are of animal origin and currently most versions of these pies omit them. Today’s mincemeat pies have the form of a sweet dessert and are currently eaten in this form.
What cannot be missing from mincemeat filling?
One of the basic ingredients that should be included in mincemeat filling is undoubtedly raisins. The more varieties there are, the better, as it affects the final taste of the filling. Apart from them, you can actually add any dried fruit such as currants, cranberries, apricots or cherries. Dried fruit is not the only form you use to prepare the filling. You also add candied fruit, specifically their peel, and fresh fruit. Add a bit of butter and sugar. When it comes to sugar, you can choose both granulated sugar and brown sugar. The addition of alcohol is not obligatory and if you want to skip it, you can replace it with orange juice.
All ingredients used to prepare the filling should be combined and cooked. Before cooking, it is a good idea to set them aside for a few hours so that the fruit absorbs as much juice and alcohol as possible. Also after cooking and before using to fill pie shells, it is a good idea to keep the filling in the refrigerator at least overnight. I encourage you to try the mincemeat recipe below and wish you a successful baking.
Ingredients for mincemeat.
- 200 g dried raisins
- 200 g dried golden raisins
- 100 g dries cranberries
- 100 g candied fruit peel
- zest and juice of one lemon
- zest and juice of one orange
- 180 g light brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground: nutmeg, clove, ginger, coriander, allspice
- 80 g soft butter
- 1 savoury apple
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 100 ml whiskey
How to make mincemeat.
Grate the apple into a large bowl, add the grated zest and juice of orange and lemon. Add dried raisins, golden raisins, cranberries, candied peel, brown sugar, spices, soft butter and whiskey. Mix and set aside for 2 hours. Next, transfer to a larger pot, bring it to a boil and from the moment of boiling cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Cool down slightly and transfer to sterilized jars. Keep the mincemeat in the refrigerator.
Good to know when making mincemeat.
It is best to use a mixture of candied citrus peels. It can be candied orange, lime or lemon peel.
The filling can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. However, if you want to prepare them longer, just pasteurize the jars filled with the filling.
Do you like dishes with raisins? If so, try our recipe for Poppy seed cheesecake.